Interrogation of Gender Identity: Aesthetic Consumption of Korean Television Dramas by Young Women in China
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Given the popularity of Korean television dramas among various age groups in other countries, one would expect to see a similar pattern of consumption across different ages in China. Instead, we see high levels of consumption of Korean dramas by a very specific demographic. Why do young Chinese females consume Korean dramas at such high levels? I argue that young Chinese women’s heavy consumption of Korean dramas that portray a particular aesthetic of self and familial resolution may be explained by a need to redress contemporary psychological issues related to gendered self-identity. I posit that the identity formation processes of this particular demographic has been shaped by changes in family dynamics that stem from social and political restructuring in the 1980s, particularly the one-child policy. Thus, this thesis explores how the consumption of Korean dramas by young females in China may be understood as an implicit interrogation of gendered identity.